Recently we packed up the family and took a short trip to New York City. What better way to spend a few lovely days in Spring than to stroll the streets of Manhattan, take in a couple of shows, visit a museum or two, eat some good food and do a little shopping? Just me, the Hub, the Monkey and the Ladybug.
And 100 high school students.
Every couple of years the Hub—a high school choral teacher —and his colleagues gather up their pitch pipes and set off to spread music across the land. And by “land” I mean touristy places like Orlando and Virginia Beach. (If there’s an Old Country Buffet and amusement park within 30 miles of one another, you have all the makings of a music festival.) Since this year’s trip was both close to home and coincided with spring break we decided to tag along.
One might think that time spent with so many kids would inspire a feeling of youth. One might be wrong. To my surprise, sometime within the last 20 years I have gotten, well, old. Like some character from a “Cocoon” reunion I found myself reminiscing about the old days and peppering my conversations with my own children with phrases like:
“When you’re in high school, please don’t push in front of old people to get the last two French fries in the warming dish.”
“When you’re in high school, please refrain from using the “F” word within ear shot of families with little children.”
“When you’re in high school, please do not sit around indoors with your sunglasses on because you think it makes you look cool.”
“When you’re in high school, please do not announce to everyone within ear shot what you just accomplished in the bathroom and what it smelled like.”
“When you’re in high school, please do not wear dresses that leave nothing to the imagination, and if you must, please wear underwear that actually covers your rear end.”
Of course, I know it’s all for naught because that’s what high school is about. It’s about being silly and testing boundaries and making foolish decisions and having fun and not worrying so much about the consequences. I went through it; the hub went through it, and soon enough my kids will go through it too.
“When you’re in high school—heaven help us.”